When they aren't preparing rustic Italian eats, the chefs at This Side of Rome are busy tossing each New York–style pizza crust by hand. Their baskets of fried calamari and stuffed mushrooms pave the way for subs stuffed with ham, salami, and provolone. Inside the 60-seat dining room, guests gobble up slices of tiramisu while sipping on BYOB drinks. They can also nosh at home by opting for take-out or luring delivery drivers with a trail of parmesan cheese. Thursday through Saturday, guests can also enjoy southern comfort chef specials.
In what they describe as both a "perfect business match" and an "ongoing battle," Johnny G's Restaurant owner Julie Ali and her husband, Aref, create comforting dishes that meld Italian and Cajun influences. Though they don’t always see eye to eye, the mother-and-son team often meets on the common thread that runs through both of their cooking styles: seafood. Their shrimp ravioli smothered in a spicy, creamy garlic pink sauce serves as a tasty example. All of Johnny G's dishes and sauces are made fresh in the kitchen each day with seafood that is delivered alive rather than frozen by the glares of vengeful squids.
Before commanding the kitchen at Decanter Restaurant and Wine Bar, executive chef Tony Gardizi honed his skills at several award-winning Dallas-area establishments. He revamps his American-Californian menu every Thursday according to the fresh, seasonal ingredients he receives from local farmers or storks sent by the Jolly Green Giant. The slate of constantly evolving entrees includes dishes such as slow-cooked pork belly with english pea waffles, apple-pear grilled tofu on a bed of baby bok choy, and gluten-free options. Every Monday and Tuesday, wine tastings serve up a sample of the eatery's extensive selection, including 20 wines by the glass, 100 by the bottle, and a rotating daily menu of wine by the carafe. Jazz musicians add a live soundtrack to tastings as well as meals on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings. Outside on the patio, the Havana humidor keeps cigars at their optimum temperature, and breezes blowing through wrought-iron fences keep diners at optimum comfort level as well.
Most of the meats at Smokin' J's BBQ, from their brisket to their St. Louis ribs, are dry-rubbed before chefs impart a smokey flavor by placing meats in the hickory smoking pit for up to 14 hours. Patrons can then enhance these flavors with the house's signature Dr. Pepper BBQ sauce, which is made in small batches to prevent flavor loss or accidentally starting a new economy based off the currency of sauces and rib bones. For those who are unsure which dish would suit them best, the chefs dole out samples of everything on the menu to better aid dine-in and meat-by-the-pound ordering.
At Good Times Cajun, bayou traditions take center stage, just like when a airboat arrives at any neighborhood car show. Here, chefs deep-fry slices of gator to serve with a creole mustard, stack po' boys with fried catfish, and line flour pastries with a Cajun cream sauce and Louisiana crawfish tails. Other regional dishes include red beans and rice, which sit beside the crawfish ?touf?e and jambalaya. Staff pair these dishes with beer and wine and are available for dining in or to-go meals.
Good steaks begin with good beef, and The Yellow Rose Steak & Chop House doesn't let anything less than free-range, USDA Prime beef touch its grills. The chefs sear everything from 6-ounce cuts of filet mignon to 16-ounce, hand-cut rib eyes using simple seasonings of kosher salt, black pepper, and butter. This straightforward combination keeps the steak's natural flavor at the forefront. For a true steakhouse indulgence, the chefs also grill cuts of Allen Brothers' steaks?dry-aged for 40 days?whenever they are available.
The menu of hearty surf and turf doesn't stop with steaks, though. It also features down-home classics (think country-fried chicken with homemade gravy) as well as more extravagant plates (Australian lobster tail with drawn butter, anyone?). A modest wine list and classic-cocktail collection ensures a suitable drink to accompany any meal.
The steakhouse's dining room cultivates a romantic, yet rustic ambiance characterized by intimate lighting, dark wood furnishings, and a bar area decorated with silhouetted figures of moose and buffalo. Occasionally, the restaurant hosts live musical performances, encouraging guests to tap their feet and flap their vestigial wings to the sounds of a solo guitar or piano.